The Hassle of Selling Items via Online Marketplaces

The current state of the kitchen

Pictured above: The kitchen. Fridge has been sold. Gas stove w/ oven has been picked up free of charge. Floor has been removed, but it’s still there in the picture.

The amount of people that have stood me up is far more than I can handle in these tough times.

As I’m finalizing the last details of the house so that it can be returned to the housing corporation in the manner that they require, I’m doing my best to sell and get rid of the last few items.

Over the course of the last six months, I have repeatedly put items for sale and for free on both Marktplaats.nl as well as Facebook Marketplace and groups.

Items that may not even hold a lot of monetary value, but were especially emotionally valuable and memory-laden for me. This, of course, people don’t know. But secretly it has devastated me a couple of times to be strung along for hours to days with people promising to come by for an item that I was selling.

What prompted me to write this article today was someone making an appointment with me in the late afternoon to pick up our washing machine, and never showing up. The washing machine was on the first floor, so I had to ask for help to get the 71 kilogram washer down the stairs. Now it’s standing in the hallway, blocking our path that we need so much as we are cleaning up for hours every day.

This happened before when I sold our dryer to a different person. The guy never showed up and never responded again.

It also happened selling an ironing board and iron for 4 euros. And three bottles of spray paint for 3 euros that were never picked up despite giving the guy a second chance to come the next day because “sorry I was in training.”

Items I've been selling in the past few months

Pictured above: A collage of some of the items I’ve been selling.

It also happened twice to a lady wanting to buy a vase with a bouquet of flowers, whom I also gave a second chance to pick up the item after the weekend, as she couldn’t come outside on the day of our appointment because she was “short of breath.”

Then there was this guy I was selling a painting with a frame to, but he never showed up either.

As money has always been tight for me, I’ve been selling anything and everything that I could sell, even items for just two or one euro each, knowing very well the items were worth more, and I’m sure the buyers knew too. One day I sold my dad’s alarm clock to a woman for 1 euro. She arrived at my door with a two euro coin. I asked “I guess you want change too, huh?” and she was like “Yes please,” so I had to take her two euro coin into my home, fetch my wallet and take a 1 euro coin out to give back to her. I mean, I know I asked for just 1 euro but you could spare me the humiliation of needing to exchange your two euro coin. I can’t imagine showing up to someone’s doorstep asking for change for such a cheap item in perfect working condition.

But hey, speaking of working condition.

There are obviously items I had to get rid of for free, as that was an easier and cheaper option than having my brother drive to a garbage disposal area. So, I’ve given away cabinets/closets, tables and heck, even a fully functioning gas stove with oven (the person who offered a measly 20 euros for it decided “it was too dirty” for them and refused to take it. I had been scrubbing it clean for an hour the day before. I know it wasn’t perfect, but what did she expect after offering 20 euro for the gas stove?).

I wouldn’t give away items that are blatantly defective, broken, ugly or in a state that can’t be repaired, but I always find it interesting when people ask if the item is in excellent condition before picking it up for free.

I have interacted with so many different people in the last few months, some conversations are simply garbage, but luckily a lot of people are very decent and friendly.

What’s always an issue, is offering an item for sale, having multiple people respond and then having people be offended when you make a deal with someone else. In fact, I had someone lose their cool on me for “not even giving them a chance to respond” before selling the item to someone else. Dude, I gave you ONE HOUR. -_-

TL;DR:

Over the past six months, I’ve encountered a frustrating pattern of people repeatedly standing me up after agreeing to buy or collect items I’ve listed online. This situation has taken a toll on me emotionally, especially when parting with items that hold sentimental value. Despite my efforts to sell or give away various items, I’ve been left disappointed when individuals make commitments to pick them up and then fail to follow through.

I’ve experienced this with a washing machine, a dryer, an ironing board, spray paint, and even a vase with flowers. It’s disheartening to see how some individuals can be unreliable and inconsiderate when it comes to honoring their commitments. Additionally, I’ve faced frustration when multiple buyers express interest, only to become upset when I decide to make a deal with someone else after giving them a fair chance to respond.

PS. While writing this article I had someone offer 35 euros for my washing machine but only if it’s good condition. ;w;

Visits: 25